Students who built robots from junk honoured
Dubai: Students from across the country got to build their own robots — from robotic hands to medical dispenser robots and cooler bots — for a robotics championship in preparation for the future as the UAE gives a big push for sciences and advanced skills.
A total of 13 schools and universities bagged prizes amounting to a total of Dh135,000 and trophies on Tuesday for their winning robots at the Dubai Electricity Water Authority (Dewa) Robotics Competition 2017.
The contest recognised the students’ creativity and innovative ideas in building robots using recycled materials, available hardware from Junkbot, and a do-it-yourself robotic kit that can be used to build working robots from scratch.
Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa, said the competition aims to prepare the UAE youth to be the next generation of experts and leaders who will implement the ambitious national strategies and plans to achieve the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071.
“Our wise leadership attaches great importance to innovation. At Dewa, we believe that Emirati youth have the potential to transform Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world,” Al Tayer said during the awarding ceremony.
“We are committed to developing and supporting Emirati talent, developing innovation, nurturing students’ creativity, and providing an environment that encourages creativity and innovation among young people. Today’s youth are the leaders of tomorrow who will play a key role as decision-makers.” Prasad Kola, head of the workshop where the students were trained to build their robots, said the competition revealed the uniqueness of each group’s ideas.
The winning entries were chosen from five categories: Sustainability, Technology and Artificial Intelligence, Smart Services, Power and Water Saving, and Stakeholder Happiness.
“Some came up with big codes, some with small codes depending on the logic, and then they built it. It’s [robotics competition] going to prepare them for the future because it helps with their analytical thinking, team building, problem solving, and even in STEM education,” Kola, a technical engineer at start-up company Junkbot, told Gulf News.
Kola said Dewa bought 500 robotic kits and distributed it to the participating schools for the competition.
“There is a high-level chance that if they show some commitment, these prototypes can be researched on, improved, and if they can get funding, they can actually do wonders,” Kola said.
Among the winning entries is the Cooler Bot, an automated cooling machine that gives cool air when the user is out in the heat. Seventh graders Mohammad Irfan, Abdul Haleem, and Abdul Majid from GEMS Our Own Indian School built it.
“The cooler bot makes our lives easier. It gives cool air and it’s a compact bot. We do a lot of sports and it could be hot in the summer,” Irfan, 12, said.
Majid said the hardest part was “when we had to build the cooling system because we had to attach many complicated components”.
But in the end, their hard work paid off. All three want to become electronics and communications engineers in the future and will continue to “learn from our mistakes and improve our next robot”, Majid said.
Winners Primary School category
1st: Cooler Bot, GEMS Our Own Indian School
2nd: Ayoon Smart Jacket, Falaj Al Mualla Primary School
3rd: Recycled Dust Carrier, Hessa Bint Al Mor Primary School
Secondary School category
1st: Smart House System, GEMS World Academy Dubai
2nd: Revolutia, GEMS Millennium School
3rd: Smoke Extinguisher Robot: Al Khansaa Secondary School
High School category
1st: Robotic Hand, Al Khaleej National School
2nd: Smart City, Dibba Al Fujairah Secondary School
3rd: Medical Dispenser Robot, Ras Al Khaimah Secondary School
Students of Determination category (no ranking)
Floor Cleaning Robot, Super Drawing Robot, Egg Holder Robot Car, Auto Tray, Hi Happiness Robot, and Car Robot by Al Noor Training Centre.
1st: Talking Cap, Manipal University Dubai
2nd: Smart House, University of Sharjah
3rd: Charity Robot, Al Ghurair University